This lovely Primary School in Cumbria needed our support to buy 30 ukuleles. The challenges to school budgets are harming so many children’s life-chances to learn to make music. We simply can’t stand by and watch this happen, so our charity will always act whenever it is able.

If you ever want to see the effect music-making can have on children, please read the words of the school and children below:

“Having ukuleles available to us has transformed our access to the whole music curriculum. We had hardly any tuned percussion in school, apart from a class set of glockenspiels in boxes. Now Y3 & 4 have been able to learn to play the ukulele over a period of weeks. and Y5/6 have used them in composition lessons. Our children have been so inspired by the chance to learn an instrument for themselves and take them home enthusiastically each week to practice. Learning the ukulele has significantly bridged the gap between music at home and school. The children are desperate to practice and take their Ukes home each week. We have used Google Classroom to support their home learning after each lesson, adapting the Musical Futures ‘Everyone Can Play Ukulele’ material to structure their practice. This has included strumming patterns, chord shapes and practising changing chords. The Head Teacher supported my attendance at the Musical Futures ‘Just Play’ course, as a result of gaining funding from yourselves, to develop my skills in instrumental teaching. As a consequence of what I learned there I am increasingly confident to enable children to play chords on a range of musical instruments.

“Hello! Thank you for the money to buy the awesome ukuleles. I am having so much fun learning to play songs.” says Reuben from Year Four. His view is reflected in Sam’s comment; “ I really like my ukulele. I enjoy playing it but whenever I play it sometimes it hurts my fingers but apart from that it is a really good musical instrument 9 out of 10. Thanks for the money for the Ukuleles!”

As Charlotte, a woodwind player, says, “ Thank you very much for my ukulele. I really like it because it is a very different instrument and I had never tried it before.”

The children are increasingly engaged with the music making process, using what they have learned either to accompany their own music making at home, or to share learning with other members of their families. Some children have reported ‘performing’ for their family, whilst others have shared the fact that they have been taught skills and techniques to advance their playing by others in their social circle.

Norah tells me her dad is an expert and has taught her a lot more than she has learned in school! She says, “ I have always loved stringed instruments the sound they make is just amazing! Thank you so much :)“ For Sammy who is a life-long George Formby fan, the ukuleles have been magical! He says, “I have enjoyed trying to learn how to play ‘When I’m cleaning windows. There is nothing I have not enjoyed about learning how to play a ukulele!”

As you can see, your funding has made a real difference to our experience of teaching and learning music. Thank you so much”.